GSM liberalization surpasses landline market openess in Arab World
The fixed telephone line markets in the Arab World continue to be monopolistic markets; currently the only providers of mainlines are the incumbent operators. The majority of those incumbent operators are state-owned. Most Arab fixed markets are expected to remain uncompetitive until the end of 2004, as the pressure will increase on the governments to liberalize the markets.
Furthermore, all of the incumbent operators have a monopoly over international gateways expect for Morocco, which has granted MediTel the right to offer its subscribers ILD service on its own.
A newly released report by the Arab Advisors Group shows that the Arab cellular market is more liberalized than the mainline market. Currently out of the eleven markets examined, six markets have duopoly operators. The countries with a duopoly are Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria.
“Between the years 1998 and 2001, the total number of cellular subscribers in the eleven examined countries was lower than that of mainlines. However, the total number of cellular subscribers is expected to exceed that of mainlines by 2002. By the end of 2002 the number of cellular subscribers will have exceeded that of mainlines in nine of the 11 examined countries,” Advisors Group’s analyst, Shahin Shahin wrote in the report.
The countries examined include Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and UAE. The Group calculated the Market Share Index for each of the countries. The index is calculated by dividing the share of total subscribers in each country by the share of total population of each country from the total population of the eleven countries. The higher the score the better the development status of the market, penetration wise. A score of less than one indicates some underdevelopment in the market.
On the Cellular Market Share Index, the UAE was first by a wide margin with a score of 5.38. Bahrain was second with a score of 3.98, followed by Kuwait with 3.87, Qatar with 2.72, Lebanon with 1.88, Morocco with 1.52, Jordan with 1.46, Oman with 1.2, Saudi Arabia with 1.12, Egypt with 0.51 and Syria with 0.1.
As for the Mainline Market Share Index, the UAE also topped the ranks with a score of 2.96. Second was Qatar with 2.54, Bahrain with 2.3, Lebanon with 2.04, Kuwait with 1.95, Saudi Arabia with 1.42, Jordan with 1.19, Syria with 0.98, Egypt with 0.93, Oman with 0.85, and Morocco with 0.35. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
- Arab cellular market is more liberalized than fixed line market
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- Arab World’s Internet subscriber base grows 47 percent in 2001
- Jordan retains its status as the Arab World’s most competitive cellular market while Iraq jumps to the second place.
- Qatar leads IT connectivity in the Middle East